We as pet owners often have the urge to pull our hair apart whenever our pets start to pick on their food. Some dogs present a challenge simply because they are quite “hooked” on their current dry kibble or other lower-quality commercial pet food (often flavor-enhanced) and they seem to see no reason to accept something new, however healthy it may be for them. This is akin to a child who is used to eating McDonalds every day and is suddenly being expected to eat vegetables.
Here are some tips to try if you find that your dog is being particularly stubborn. Feel free to experiment with your own ideas, too!

1) Try mixing in a small amount of ground meat (chicken, turkey, beef, etc.) with the food.

2) Offer the food for just 30 minutes, whatever is not eaten within this period, pick it up, refrigerate, and serve it to them at the next feeding time. Healthy animals can fast for a day at a time with no harm. Note: If your dog is used to free-feeding, the first step will be to teach a new schedule of regular meal times.

3) Rehydrate The Honest Kitchen with a low-sodium broth in replace of the water.

4) Add a spoonful of plain yogurt, cottage cheese, or a sprinkle of shredded cheese.

5) Adjust the texture of the food by increasing or decreasing the amount of water to make the food more or less soupy.


Cats can be tricky customers and it can be very challenging to persuade them to try something new! Here are a few tried-and-tested tips for transitioning your picky kitty to a new diet.

Go slow
Cats seem more averse to change than dogs, so we recommend hydrating very small amounts (half teaspoon portions) of The Honest Kitchen initially, and adding this to their current food. Then, gradually increase THK food each day over a period of weeks.

Add enticements
Cats are also led by their keen sense of smell, so including some savory foods like bits of meat, cottage cheese, yogurt, raw or cooked egg can help during the transition. Variety is the spice of life, so mix it up!

Trick them
Sometimes it’s necessary to coax your cat to try something new with a mind game. We’ve heard much success with this one! Hydrate the food and then dip the cat’s paw into it. Since cats want to be clean, they will lick their paw – and in the process become more accustomed to the taste and tastiness of The Honest Kitchen food!

Changing their feeding schedule
If your cat is used to grazing at will with a bowl of dry food, start by feeding only two times per day, leaving the food out for about 30 minutes each time. Pick up the leftover food, refrigerate and serve to them at the next feeding time. Healthy animals can fast for a day at a time with no harm so don’t worry if they miss a meal.


  • A is for All Alone
    Feed Honest Kitchen food by itself as a complete meal (except preference, which you mix with meat). Just add water and it’s ready to go!
  • B is for Base–mix
    Use as a base for your own home-prepared ingredients. Lots of people love to make their pets’ food. Honest Kitchen recipes are an excellent starting point (with balanced calcium: phosphorus ratios) that you can mix with your own meat and other goodies.
  • C is for Complementary
    Mix with kibble as a convenient, healthy whole food topping that provides more phyto-nutrients than cooked diets. Because our foods are gently dehydrated, they retain much more of the natural nutrition that conventional pet food production methods. If you aren’t ready to make the switch to 100% fresh or dehydrated food, try our recipes as toppers, so your pet can still enjoy some of the benefits of a whole food diet! Feed a ½ and ½ mixture of THK and your favorite kibble, or in whatever ratio works well for your pet.
  • D is for Defrosting error
    Use as a stand-in when you forget to thaw your raw! Some of our customers feed raw food most of the time. But sometimes, schedules can be disrupted or plain old absent-mindedness can set in. Our foods are great to keep on hand as a stand-in for just such occasions!
  • E is for Emergencies
    Dehydrated foods are compact to store – you can keep our products in your emergency preparedness kit for up to 12 months and they’ll be easy to take if you ever have to leave home in a hurry.
  • F is for Fun outdoors
    Take on your travels, backpacking and camping – our foods are lightweight, and quick & easy to prepare for a tasty meal on the road. Each dry-measured cup of our food makes a whole pound of fresh food when rehydrated.


Our dehydrated foods are naturally shelf stable and should be stored in a cool, dry place – out of sunlight. We don’t recommend refrigerating our food when it’s dry, because this can introduce moisture. If you want to freeze the food, you should hydrate it first (some of our customers like to freeze in individual pre-made portions). If you do choose to place the dry food in the freezer, we recommend keeping the box in the freezer for the remainder of its use.

Our foods have a shelf life of twelve to twenty four months, depending on the product, the ambient temperature and humidity where you live. The date of manufacture is printed on the top of every box in a specially designed ‘tear out and keep’ card.

  • Complete diets – 12 months from MFG date
  • Base mixes – 18 months from MFG date
  • Cookies – 12 months from MFG date
  • Pure fish treats – 18 months from MFG date
  • Pro Bloom – 12 months from MFG date
  • Perfect Form – 24 months from MFG date


Cats can be tricky customers! Some cats transition easily and love our food right away, and others end up in a battle of will with their owners – they’re creatures of habit and have quite particular opinions on things, after all!

We recommend hydrating very small amounts (pea-size portions) of Honest Kitchen food initially, and adding this to their current food. Then, gradually increase the Honest Kitchen food each day over a period of weeks (if needed). Cats have their preferences, and because they are such tactile creatures, you should play around with the water content – adding more if they enjoy soupy meals or using less water if the preference is a tacky consistency.

Cats are also led by their keen sense of smell, so including some savory foods like bits of meat, cottage cheese or egg can help during the transition.


For dogs making the change from a processed diet of kibble or canned food, our food should be introduced gradually, over a period of four to seven days depending on your dog’s sensitivity. If your dog or cat is already consuming a varied, raw or home cooked diet, our foods can usually be introduced more quickly, over one or two meals.

Start by adding just a small amount of the Honest Kitchen (with water added) into your dog’s current meals. Gradually increase the amount of the Honest Kitchen while decreasing the amount of your dog’s original diet. This will allow the natural ‘friendly’ gut flora in the intestines to get accustomed to the new diet and become more efficient at digesting the new food.

How much you start with will depend on the size of your pup and how sensitive they are to change. For some, ¼ of the Honest Kitchen and ¾ of the original diet may work well. For more sensitive dogs, start with a smaller amount. For more robust tummies, you may try ½ and ½. Feel free to adjust the amount and schedule to suit your pup’s individual needs.


Our complete Honest Kitchen diets have balanced levels of nutrients to allow additional raw meat, raw meaty bones or cooked meats to be added if desired, without disrupting critical nutritional values.

It is actually advised to occasionally add in meats, veggies and fruits because this offers nutritional variety and can help reduce the chance of your dog developing allergies to ingredients in the diet. Also some dogs have trouble absorbing the nutrients from a specific ingredient where they may have no trouble absorbing it from another ingredient. For this reason, we suggest adding extras and switching between foods as much as possible.

Here are some suggestions as far as what to add:

  • Fresh or raw meat (this can be ground beef, turkey, chicken, venison, buffalo or other exotic meats) – we suggest using a meat that is hormone and antibiotic free. Many holistic vets feel that pork is not the best option for dogs, at least not on a regular basis. However, it does work well for some, especially those needing a very cooling or moist meat.
  • Fish (raw or canned) – canned mackerel and sardines are popular with most dogs; whitefish is a good choice for more sensitive animals
  • Other extras can consist of yogurt or cottage cheese (for the probiotic qualities – one tablespoon or two),
  • Oatmeal (if grains are desired periodically, however, not the instant kind)
  • Raw or lightly steamed cruciferous vegetables
  • Seasonal ingredients, like sweet potatoes and yams (which can be steamed before serving) are a great idea!
  • Chopped parsley, alfalfa sprouts, finely graded carrots and zucchini are enjoyed most. (Careful on the carrots though and other vegetables that may contain vitamin A, because our food has plenty of vitamin A)
  • Peas, green beans, and broccoli should be steamed or cooked before feeding to pets
  • Avoid feeding veggies high in oxalic acid, this interferes with Calcium absorption (chard, rhubarb, spinach)
  • Fresh or dried fruits like cranberries, figs or melon (not raisins)
  • Occasionally a few seeds or nuts such as flaked almonds
  • Garlic


raw or cooked?

We at the Honest Kitchen believe in a raw diet and recommend it as we believe there are much more nutrients and benefits to be had from it. We do not recommend it for sick dogs or dogs who have a compromised immune system. Pork and fish are best offered cooked, to avoid the danger of trichinosis or other parasites. If you are not comfortable feeding raw, then you should not. You should do what you feel is right and what you are comfortable with.


You should lean more towards adding meat than adding extras vegetables because our food does have quite a bit of veggies already and dogs are essentially carnivores.

We recommend adding in about a ½ cup of extras for every one cup of dry measured Honest Kitchen food. For every cup of extras you add, you will reduce the food by half a cup.

Digestive enzymes and probiotics are also a good addition to any dog’s diet, especially dogs over eight years old. Some digestive enzymes we recommend are Prozyme, Total-zymes and Dr.Goodpet.

what not to feed your dog

  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Raisins
  • Chocolate
  • Avocado skin or seed
  • Sugar free gum, or any food which contains xylitol



Meaty bones are a great addition to the diet for many pets and must always be fed raw. We suggest feeding a raw bone maybe once a week to keep your pets jaw exercised. NEVER FEED COOKED BONE! –these can splinter and cause your pet to choke. Make sure when you choose a bone for your pup that it is the right size for them so they will not choke. We recommend introducing bones under the guidance of a holistic veterinarian.

Some people are more comfortable feeding pre-ground bones at first, rather than whole ones. Cats and dogs have shorter digestivetracts than humans and are better able to digest various raw bones and cartilage with ease. Always store and handle raw meat and bones safely to avoid spoilage or contamination. Raw beef marrow (soup) bones make excellent recreational bones and will delight most dogs. These are not actually consumed but gnawed on, and help to maintain clean, white, sparkling teeth and healthy pink gums.

Primal Pet products make a very good selection of bones, but otherwise you can just get chicken necks and backs, beef knuckles and marrow bones, etc.

– See more at: